Fight to keep police cells in Burnley open

Uncertainty continues to surround the future of Burnley Police Station's custody suite.
Burnley Police StationBurnley Police Station
Burnley Police Station

The cells were temporarily closed in October as a result of long-term staff sickness but re-opened in December.

However the suite will close again on February 20th when Preston's reopens following a facelift. Lancashire Constabulary has now said its long-term future is under review.

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County Coun. Tony Martin, who is also a borough councillor for Trinity, branded the decision as "unacceptable" and fears a permanent closure could have a disastrous ripple effect.

"If the custody suite closes that then means there's no business for the courts so the courts are suddenly under threat. If they are moved to Blackburn all of sudden you only got a few police officers rattling around that big police station. And before you know it that's up for sale.

"This is unacceptable. It is the thinnest edge of the wedge and I am going to be campaigning non-stop to ensure this does not happen. I am going to be arranging a meeting with the police crime commissioner and along with the other councillors will be finding out what is going on.

"This is not a party political issue. This is about justice and where justice should be served. And that is locally."

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A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: "Burnley custody suite was closed temporarily last year but is currently open while Preston custody suite is temporarily closed for an upgrade. It will close again when Preston re-opens on February 20th.

"It will need to open again to offer some resilience when Greenbank custody suite at Blackburn closes for a similar upgrade.

"The closure at Burnley was solely due to significant levels of long term staff sickness and the constabulary having regard to both staff and detainee welfare. As with all policing functions, Burnley custody suite’s long-term future remains under review.

"Greenbank custody office at Blackburn is only a short distance from Burnley, is a newer facility with greater capacity and offers a more effective and resilient custody experience for both staff and detainees."